Responsible fiscal management of the state’s resources and budget will be critical in 2021 and 2022 due to the devastating effects of the Governor’s actions to close down the state. The majority of the state’s revenue producing businesses and state revenue generating activities during the COVID-19 crisis “pandemic” has created a new pandemic with possibly greater and more long-lasting effects. I propose that the legislature minimize state expenditures to eliminate waste and non-productive overhead costs and to reduce program costs by the amount of taxes not collected due to the governor’s shutdown. A tax reduction is necessary to help stimulate the state’s economy and minimize significant harmful health effects of the shutdown. Accessing the state’s permanent fund is not an option to resolve budget woes.
I have pledged to refrain from state tax increases. I recognize that processes of tax collection to support necessary activities of the state government may require some shifting of tax sources to streamline a more equitable tax system. The NM Legislature and the Governor have created an economic mess of our state prior to the COVID-19 by frivolous spending binges when we had a surplus that could have been set aside for response to emergencies. The state must make adjustments without charging the citizens of NM for their fiscal mismanagement.
State government actions to restrict and limit businesses as a result of Covid-19 have reduced personal income significantly for the majority of New Mexicans and have resulted in the loss of taxes collected by the state. It is unconscionable that the governor and legislature would seek to solve the states’ budget crisis by increasing taxes on the citizens the state’s actions have undeniably damaged.
I will fight for government to preserve its permanent personnel forces to the maximum extent possible and to eliminate the plethora of high paid term and temporary positions created by the governor to staff her excessive program expansions and creations. We may have to put up with delay or reduction of capital projects, non-critical maintenance and unnecessary overhead costs and, most critically, proposed new government program expansions. That is the price of the Administration’s excessive spending and poor fiscal management that is necessary to recover the state economically without further damage to the fiscal health and well-being of the people of New Mexico.
I will seek to eliminate taxes on social security. Our citizens work their entire life to pay into the social security system with dollars that have already been taxed by the federal and state governments. To again tax the dollars involuntarily taken from a person’s paycheck and set aside for social security is an injustice. Only 17 states tax social security. Why New Mexico should double tax social security in this manner is wrong and an unfair burden on the senior citizens of the state.